Review #229 // The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion (Daniella Cain) – Margaret Killjoy


After her close friend commits suicide, Danielle decides to travel to the town that started his fall. On her arrival, she sees the town’s guardian spirit, only to see it a second time turning on the people it was summoned to protect.

Why this book?: I was in the mood for some queer horror. This definitely filled that category.

I went into this book not knowing much about it, but I have to say that I came out happy and satisfied in my quest for some queer horror.

TLWSTL is an interestingly built novella focusing on a “guardian spirit” that supposedly kills people who have done morally wrong things, such as murder, rape, or using someone/it. Our POV character, Daniella, comes into the scene about a year after it was summoned, so we’re getting second hand information on it, rather than first hand, the entire span of the novella. Pretty early, the spirit starts murdering inhabitants, so we don’t get to see much of when the spirit was less … evil, I guess you could say. To me, that made it slightly harder to believe that it was a good spirit to begin with, as there was less development and explanation as to it’s actions. In addition to that, we don’t get much information on how it was summoned–as in, is there magic in this world?

For a novella, the characters were fairly well developed and interesting. I wish I could have seen more of all of them, just to get to know them better, but there was definitely enough within the pages of TLWSTL to say that the characters were well developed. Just as I mentioned before, I wish we could have gotten more of a point of view on the time when the spirit was originally summoned so we could get that version of events rather than whats told to us by so many conflicting accounts. (Meaning, I would definitely support a prequel to this book). I also really enjoyed the romance in this book–it felt naturally developed, and I liked how the two characters spoke on what they wanted out of the relationship before they “officially” decided to get together.

Final Rating: ★★★★☆


The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion was an extremely enjoyable novella, and was so well developed considering the length of the story. Normally with novellas, I’m afraid that there just isn’t time for the author to develop the characters and plot well enough to make an enjoyable story, but Killjoy obviously knew what they were doing, and they did it well. I’m excited to look for the second one.

Would I Recommend?

Yes, especially if you’re into queer horror. I wouldn’t read this book if you want to avoid talk of suicide or violence. It’s a fairly gore-filled read, so be aware of that before you dive in. Otherwise, I would definitely recommend this to my friends.

TW for gore, violence, (off-page) rape mention, murder, gun violence, (off-page) graphic suicide description.

Additional Information:

Published: August 15th, 2017


Page Count: 130

Genre: Fantasy/Horror

Synopsis: via Goodreads

Danielle Cain is a queer punk rock traveller, jaded from a decade on the road. Searching for clues about her best friend’s mysterious and sudden suicide, she ventures to the squatter, utopian town of Freedom, Iowa. All is not well in Freedom, however: things went awry after the town’s residents summoned a protector spirit to serve as their judge and executioner.

Danielle shows up in time to witness the spirit—a blood-red, three-antlered deer—begin to turn on its summoners. Danielle and her new friends have to act fast if they’re going to save the town—or get out alive.

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